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Easy access to
mental health services

Front Door is a “one-stop” service for families seeking information about mental health services for their children/teens. Front Door is the entry point to a number of programs for children from birth to 18 years of age. When you call Front Door, you have the opportunity to talk with a trained professional who is knowledgeable about the challenges a young person may be dealing with, the stress a family experiences when a child/teen is coping with mental health issues, and the variety and range of services for children/teens within our community and beyond.

The worker at Front Door will be able to guide you and your child/teen to the most appropriate service. In addition to providing information, assessment and referral services, Front Door operates a weekly, Walk-in Service, that provides a single counselling session to address specific concerns of parents and children/teens.

Front Door also offers Co-ordinated Information Services, a central “clearing house” of information about Ministry-funded children’s services and related professional and specialized children’s services.

Through the utilization of an information telephone line, families in need of accurate and up-to-date information can call Front Door and speak to an individual about their needs.

Front Door staff who respond to requests for information about children’s services are well-oriented to the various programs and services in Kitchener-Waterloo and the surrounding areas.

To contact Front Door:

Call 519-749-2932

or visit

1770 King St. E., Suite 1
Kitchener, ON N2G 2P1

Comprehensive Residential Services

Licensed by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, kidsLINK offers comprehensive programs and services for children facing mental health challenges.

We are committed to upholding the highest of standards, which is exemplified by our ongoing achievement of near-perfect accreditation scores from Children’s Mental Health Ontario. Our dedicated professionals in the fields of child and youth work, social work and nursing use proven practices to succeed with “hard to serve” children. We also offer on-site psychiatric consultations and psychological assessments.

At kidsLINK, we typically serve children who are:

  • a Society or Crown Ward aged 5-12
  • in need of stability after frequently moving from placement to placement
  • overwhelming existing resources
  • requiring therapeutic interventions to address issues such as domestic violence, severe trauma, attachment issues, neglect, and physical, sexual or emotional abuse
  • diagnosed with a variety of mental health disorders and other difficulties such as learning disabilities and developmental delays. (Intellectual functioning must be above the first percentile.)

Referrals are accepted from children’s aid societies serving any geographical area in Ontario. All inquiries receive prompt attention and admission can occur within hours, pending available space.

Child Care Special Needs Access Point (SNAP)

Child Care Special Needs Access Point (SNAP) is the single point of access to developmental services for children (up to six years of age) with a developmental concern, who attend or plan to attend licensed child care in Waterloo Region. The developmental concerns may include cognitive, communication, physical, sensory, behavioural, emotional and social characteristics. No concern is too minor, as we want to ensure the inclusion of every child who needs support. All children, regardless of their abilities, are supported to safely participate in quality, inclusive child care.

We offer varying levels of support to licensed child care programs, including both child care centres and licensed home child care, to meet the diverse needs of children and their families.

Some of our services include:

  • Education and training for child care staff and parents
  • Consultation and monitoring by a visiting Resource Consultant or specialized professional
  • Additional classroom support for children with complex needs
  • Developmental assessments to support planning in the child care program.

Special needs resourcing services are delivered by the Child Care Special Needs Resourcing Partnership (CCSNRP) which consists of seven community agencies funded by the Region of Waterloo Children’s Services Division to provide supports for children with special needs to attend licensed child care settings in Waterloo Region.

To contact CCSNAP: Call Joan Wagner at 519-741-0076

or visit the CCSNAP website at www.ccsnap.com

kidsLINK Respite Services

A healthy family relationship is essential to a child’s development, stability and happiness. For this relationship to flourish, time apart is often beneficial to families – helping to alleviate tension and reduce stress.

Respite Services provides families with a day-long recess from the constant demands of caring for children with severe social, emotional and behavioural challenges.

Respite Services offers:

  • Entertainment, activities and crafts
  • Friendships and social learning skills
  • Safe facilities and professional supervision
  • Condition-specific care
  • A day of rest and relaxation for parents and siblings

Most of the children who attend Respite Services are enrolled through a referring agency.

Referring Agencies:

To KidsKlub:

  • Grand River Hospital
  • Family and Children’s Services of Waterloo Region
  • kidsLINK’s Child and Family Therapy Program
  • Lutherwood and kidsLINK’s Joint Initiatives
  • Partners Program
  • Front Door

To Caroline’s Club:

  • Developmental Services Access Centre (DSAC)

For more information on how you might become a referring agency, please call kidsLINK at 519-746-5437 ext. 136 or e-mail to respite@kidsLINKcares.com.